Most of our active and athletic patients come in with sports injuries, and they have no idea how it happened and why it is now occurring. It can be a very frustrating experience for the patient dealing with these sports injuries.
Often these sports injuries prevent you from exercising, partaking in your activity of choice, and competing. This can last for weeks and months if you are not adequately diagnosed and treated for your sports injury.
Unfortunately, many who suffer from sports injuries will go to their primary care physician or orthopedist. If there is no structural damage, they will be told to rest for 6-8 weeks but not offered any solution and prevention for the sports injury.
Patients do not want surgery or long periods of rest if they do not need that. There typically are alternatives that are conservative and can yield lasting results.
Before we dive into how we assess, treat, and prevent sports injuries, here is how medicinenet.com defines a sports injury.
Sports injuries refer to the kinds of injuries that occur during sports or exercise.
While it is possible to injure any part of the body when playing sports, the term sports injuries are commonly used to refer to injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
Some of the most common sports injuries include:
- Sprains—tears to the ligaments that join the ends of bones together. The ankles, knees, and wrists are commonly affected by sprains.
- Strains—pulls or tears of muscles or tendons (the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones)
- "Shin splints"—pain along the outside front of the lower leg, commonly seen in runners
- Achilles tendonitis or rupture of the Achilles tendon—These injuries involve the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel
- Fractures of the bones
- Dislocation of joints
As you can see in the above list, some sports injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, and severe sprains would fall under traumatic sports injuries.
When something severe like that happens, a visit to the hospital or orthopedist is highly recommended. You want to take those seriously and get the necessary medical attention.
However, many sports injuries such as sprains, strains, shin splints, and tendonitis/tendinopathies are either mild/moderate or of over-use nature.
The Cumulative Injury Cycle represents the process in which over-use injuries and pain occur.
The process begins with Overwork, such as running, golf, tennis, and other sports/activities, especially if your technique isn’t sound. Sports and activities combined with a sedentary lifestyle or other repetitive activities lead to Weak & Tight Muscles.
These weak and tight muscles lead to excessive Friction, Pressure, and Tension to the local muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. In turn, this results in Decreased Circulation and Swelling and Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) to the area.
Due to this hypoxic state, the formation of adhesions and scar tissue occurs in the area, which decreases the function of the local structures. This becomes a vicious cycle that, over time, results in pain and injury.
Many sports injuries are cumulative, which means it occurs over time, not due to one single traumatic event.
The Keys to preventing this vicious cycle from becoming an injury:
- Reduce the “Overwork” with proper equipment (running shoes, etc.), proper technique, optimal rest, and a gradual increase in activity (avoid too much, too soon).
- Corrective Exercises (strengthening and mobility work) to prevent muscular imbalances
- Bodywork such as foam rolling, Chiropractic, Massage, Active Release Technique, Physical Therapy, etc. to prevent adhesions, lack of oxygen to the cells, etc.
Some of the common sports injuries we evaluate and treat successfully in our office are:
- Running Injuries
- Runner’s Knee
- IT Band Syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscle Strains
- Hip Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Foot Pain
- Fitness/Weightlifting Injuries
- Golf Injuries
- Tennis Injuries
- Football/Soccer/Baseball Injuries
- Swimming Injuries
- Many More
In our Saskatoon Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Clinic, we take a detailed history of your injury, followed by a functional movement assessment and examination. Our goal is to not only provide you with a diagnosis of your injury but determine the underlying root cause of your injury. Many sports injuries have a reason that is away from the site of pain.
For instance, a lot of knee pain from sports can be caused by a faulty foot/ankle or hip. There are many examples of these compensation patterns that place undue stress on specific aspects of the body.
Once we have determined your diagnosis and root case, we develop a treatment plan that consists of The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment, Neurodynamics, Rehabilitation Exercises, Chiropractic, and Physiotherapy.
Too often, you go for an evaluation of your sports injury, and you only get a brief exam. You have been prescribed pain medications, rest, or a script for physical therapy somewhere else. In our office, you are examined and treated on the first day. Our treatment will consist of muscle work, sports rehab exercises, chiropractic manipulation (if indicated), and other sports therapeutic modalities.
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